If you are an NPR listener, you may have caught the Morning Edition piece this past Monday regarding cooking meals in mugs. In the microwave. In minutes. As I drove to my early-morning class, I listened to Joe Yonan, the travel and food editor for the Washington Post, describe the simple steps for making macaroni and cheese in a mug. Breakfast suddenly seemed a long way off.
Cooking for one can be tedious and uninspired without some easy ideas at the ready; super-quick mug-meals and mug-treats remedy that. They also solve the issues of (a) portion control (I don’t care how much will power you have, an entire batch of brownies hanging around the house is a major challenge); (b) variation (who wants to eat the same entree four times in a row?) and (c) making meals in a flash.
I would add one more issue that can be resolved with a mug-in-minutes option: making healthy choices in a hurry. It’s so much easier to make a nutritious choice if it can be made and eaten in a matter of minutes, with no advanced planning. Breakfast, lunch and snack-time, in particular. I have seen a number of indulgent cakes cooked in mugs, and that’s fine, but great options that give you power and energy for the day are also possible. I’m here to share the options!
This one is one of my go-tos: an egg frittata in a mug. I’ve tried straight-up scrambled eggs in a mug, and my experience has been that the eggs get tough. Leathery, to be precise.
The solution is twofold.
First, add a bit of cottage cheese.
You may despise cottage cheese and think “no way!” But when you try this 2 minute dish, it will be “yes way!” all the way.The cottage cheese keeps the eggs moist and fluffy–no toughness at all–and lends a cheesiness and significant protein with few calories. I’ve added some green onion, but you can swap it out for other vegetables (be sure to chop them finely) if you like. Roasted red bell peppers, finely chopped broccoli, spinach, kale–go to town with your favorites, but keep the total amount to 1/3 cup (finely chopped) or less.
Second, give the egg mixture a stir after 30 seconds, then again at 60 seconds; the results will be fluffy and tender.
Much more mugging to come!
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons fat free or lowfat cottage cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions (about 1 small green onion)
- 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- Freshly cracked pepper
- Coat the inside of a coffee mug with nonstick cooking spray (I use Spectrum Organics)
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the cottage cheese, then the green onions, Parmesan, and salt & pepper; pour into prepared mug.
- Microwave on HIGH 30 seconds; stir egg mixture. Microwave 30 seconds; stir again. Microwave 45 to 60 seconds longer until eggs are just set.